China’s Troublemakers Bond Over ‘Drinking Tea’

AP’s Cara Anna reports from Beijing:

Like the , China is having its own tea movement, but this one has a very different agenda.

Police have long tried to shush and isolate potential , usually starting with a low-key warning, perhaps over a meal or a cup of tea. Now, the country’s troublemakers are openly blogging and tweeting their stories about “” with the cops, allowing the targeted citizens to bond and diluting the intimidation they feel.

The movement is an embarrassment for , who are suspicious of anything that looks like an organized challenge to their authority. And can’t help that “ tea” stories seem to be spreading among ordinary Chinese, including ones who signed a recent online call for political reform.

The country’s top political event of the year, the National People’s Congress, has given the stories another bump. More than 200 people say they’ve been invited by police to “drink tea” since just Friday, when the congress began, said independent political blogger Ran Yunfei.

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